PA Transition Tidbits

Updates and Events - November 2021

National Apprenticeship Week

The 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) will take place November 15 - 21, 2021. NAW is a nationwide celebration where industry, labor, equity, workforce, education, and government leaders host events to showcase the successes and value of Registered Apprenticeship for re-building our economy, advancing racial and gender equity, and supporting underserved communities. NAW is an opportunity to highlight how Registered Apprenticeship, a proven and industry-driven training model, provides a critical talent pipeline that can help to address some of our nation’s pressing workforce challenges such as responding to critical supply chain demands and supporting a clean energy workforce, modernizing our cybersecurity response, addressing public health issues, and rebuilding our country’s infrastructure.

Learn more about the role of Educators and Employers in supporting apprenticeship!

Take a look at the great #NAW2021 resources from APPRENTICESHIP.GOV to plan and promote events in your area.


PA Inclusive Higher Education Consortium (PIHEC)

PIHEC is a community collaborative designing, promoting, and supporting authentic, inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability. The ultimate goal is to have 100 institutions of higher education with 1000 students by 2025.

The purpose of PIHEC is to strengthen the leadership of the statewide Consortium, guided by the vision to design and provide an inclusive and supportive higher education climate. The Consortium membership will, given available resources, grow to 100 institution of higher education. The membership collectively aim to admit 1000 students with ID.

PIHEC is funded through a TPSID grant and includes 5 model initiatives (see below) that have agreed to demonstrate the application of inclusive higher education with Social Role Valorization at the core and Think College Accreditation Standards as common quality indicators.

Five Model Initiatives

Starting in 2015, PIHEC committed to advocate for and apply resources to those institutions that agreed to undo the culture of segregation by designing only fully inclusive meaningful credentials. Currently we have 33 higher education organizations as members. The Dan Habib film Opening Doors to College tells the story of applying the vision of 100% inclusive education.

To learn more, visit the PIHEC website or contact Thomas Neuville at


We want to hear from Youth and Families about Pre-Employment Transition Services and Transition Services!

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Council is collecting information from Pennsylvanians with disabilities and their family members to help the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) address the needs of students and youth with disabilities, and their families, and plan quality services that support competitive employment.

Please complete the survey by November 30th.

The survey is anonymous and voluntary. It will take approximately 20-30 minutes. Students/youth can win 1 of 20 $20 gift cards. Family members can win 1 of 3 $20 gift cards.

Thank you for sharing your feedback about Pre-ETS and Transition Services. Please email with questions or accommodation requests.


2021-2022 Competitive Integrated Employment Grant Recipients Announced

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, in coordination with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), recently announced the recipients of the 2021-2022 Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Grants. The purpose of the grant is to provide local education agencies (LEAs) with funds to establish or expand effective, competitive integrated employment programming and community-based work experiences for youth with disabilities. The fifteen LEAs listed below will utilize grant funding, of up to $30,000, to partner with local businesses and collaborate with one or more social service agencies as a means to establish or enhance a school based-career readiness program.

Western Region

Ambridge Area School District

Carlynton School District

Central Westmoreland CTC

Peters Township School District

Slippery Rock School District

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit

Central Region

Fairfield Area School District

Newport School District

Schuylkill Intermediate Unit #29

Warrior Run School District

Eastern Region

Mastery Charter School/Gratz Campus

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit #29

Morrisville School District

School District of Cheltenham Township

Springfield School District

Grantees will spend the year working collaboratively with identified grant partners to ensure all phases of planning and implementation are carried out and targeted data is collected to inform the development of meaningful transition programs for students receiving special education services throughout the Commonwealth.

For more information regarding Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Grants and effective Secondary Transition programming, please visit:

PaTTAN Releases Data on 2020-2021 Competitive Integrated Employment Grants

During the 2020-2021 school year, PaTTAN via the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education awarded grants to LEAs with a focus on competitive integrated employment for students with disabilities.

The purpose of the Competitive Integrated Employment Grant included:

1) improving competitive integrated employment outcomes for youth with disabilities;

2) providing virtual and/or in-person work experiences, including but not limited to job shadowing, internship/practicum (paid/unpaid), cooperative education programs, apprenticeship, community-based work programs, and service learning (unpaid), with job coaching as appropriate, for youth with disabilities with preference for students at-risk of dropping out and/or youth who have difficulty obtaining employment, independently;

3) establishing sites that can serve as models for community-based competitive employment for youth with disabilities; and

4) actively involving The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), County/Community-Based Behavioral Health, The Office of Intellectual Disabilities, Centers for Independent Living and other disability-specific support organizations during the development and implementation of the grant-related activities.

Below is data collected during the 2020-2021 grant year!

Data for 2020-2021 CIE Grants



Interactive Virtual Symposium on Person-Directed Services (PDS)

Wednesday November 10, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Zoom
with optional 8:30 a.m. coffee & virtual networking session for all attendees


  • **Remarks by Kristin Aherns, Deputy Secretary, Office of Developmental Programs
  • **Keynote Speaker – DJ Savarese, Co-Chair, Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports

Who Should Attend:

  • People with disabilities who direct their own services and supports
  • People interested in learning more about self-direction options in Pennsylvania
  • Common Law and Managing Employers in Pennsylvania using Palco or an Agency with Choice

Why Attend:

  • Network with others who self-direct
  • Learn from self-advocates and others with lived experience in self-direction

Register Here

YES! I am interested in attending this event.

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Next Session: Nov 8 - Dec 20

Click Here to Register

PA Chamber of Business and Industry Offers FREE Career Awareness Program

Pennsylvania is home to a number of world-class educational and skills training programs – but did you know it’s also a great place to pursue a rewarding career?

From Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, Scranton to Harrisburg and everywhere in between, students getting ready to graduate high school and start the next exciting chapter of their lives have an opportunity to make informed decisions about their future success through a FREE program that’s being offered through the Pennsylvania Chamber Foundation.

The interactive Career Awareness Program – which is being offered virtually and in-person – introduces soon-to-be high school graduates to a number of in-demand, 21st century career pathways that are waiting to be filled across the Keystone State. For instance, if students haven’t yet thought about a job in manufacturing or healthcare – two industries that Pennsylvania is well-known for and where jobs are plentiful – this program is designed to educate them on the pathways available and the steps they need to take to jumpstart their careers; while highlighting the many reasons they should keep their newly honed talents right here in the Commonwealth. In addition, the program helps connect students across the state with employers who are eager to fill open positions and share their stories with the next generation of skilled workers.

The PA Chamber Foundation also invites students and their parents to access free tools and resources via our workforce-focused website, which includes:

  • Insight into the 33 most in-demand careers available in Pennsylvania;
  • A Career Calculator designed to help students and their parents understand the time and financial commitments they must make toward their chosen career path;
  • A Workforce Spotlight that highlights PA Chamber member schools and businesses, highlighting best practices across the state’s workforce.

Several schools already enjoy participating in this program, which celebrates the value of STEM and all post-secondary pathways, helping students determine the career path that best suits their needs.

To schedule a Career Awareness presentation or to learn more, contact PA Chamber Workforce Development Executive Allen Norton at ACT 80-day presentations are also available for faculty and staff.

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Chamber and businesses across the Commonwealth that want to attract and retain the world’s best workforce, thank you for partnering with us and we look forward to connecting soon!


Introducing Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) as a Method for Supporting Students in the Context of their Families

From the Supporting Families Initiative Coordinator in the Office of Developmental Programs: Candida Walton

CtLC is a complex framework even though each concept is approachable and usable by all people. But explaining it can be tough. Break it down to a few talking points. The more you talk about it, the easier it gets! The toolkit below with links for materials on can be used to introduce and familiarize anyone to the framework.

Why does ODP we embrace CtLC? Because each principle offers a new way to look at situations that lead to improving person driven planning and outcomes. The central idea is that people, regardless of their abilities and disabilities, live in their communities and with their families caring about them their whole lives. This is a change from the old way of looking at people with disabilities; the old way led us to separate people with disabilities from and provide support differently than for people without disabilities.

What is CtLC? A set of 8 principles that make up a whole framework. There are tools that can be used in any situation to help change our thinking, solve problems, and plan for the future.

How does CtLC support families? By applying the ideas that make up CtLC, we approach problems differently and we plan differently.

Tools for Your Toolbox!

Course: Charting the LifeCourse, Topic: Overview of LifeCourse, Part 1 ( This link is for Part 1 of a webcast that explains CtLC on Anyone can enter as guest and view the video which is 13 minutes. It can be viewed all at once or easily a few minutes/slides at a time.

Course: Charting the LifeCourse, Topic: Overview of LifeCourse, Part 2 ( This link is for Part 2 of the webcast explaining CtLC on Anyone can enter as guest and view the video which is 16 minutes. It can be viewed all at once or easily a few minutes/slides at a time.

Course: Charting the LifeCourse, Topic: Overview of LifeCourse for Self Advocates ( This link is for a webcast that explains CtLC on Anyone can enter as guest and view the video which is 18 minutes. It can be viewed all at once or easily a few minutes/slides at a time.

A Future of Opportunity: Results for Students who take the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM)

Students taking the Dynamic Learning Maps® (DLM®) alternate assessment have a range of academic skills. Those skills prepare them for jobs, education, and community involvement after high school. Eligible Pennsylvania students participated in this alternate assessment during the 2020-2021 school and will be participating again for the 2021-2022 school year. The flyer below discusses findings from students who participated in the DLEM.

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What is Health Care Transition? HCT 101

Got Transition is excited to share a new animated video for youth, young adults, and families: "What is Health Care Transition? HCT 101" providing an overview of transitioning to an adult model of care, including self-care management, changes at 18, and transferring from a pediatrician to adult healthcare.

Wolf Administration Announces Free Substance Use Education, Prevention Tool for Commonwealth Workforce

Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Wolf Administration's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) announced the availability of a free online tool for Pennsylvania’s workforce to enhance education and awareness about substance use disorder (SUD). The tool – called Just Five – is a self-paced program that aims to increase awareness, reduce stigma, and provide education about SUD prevention and treatment.

“Employers often educate employees about diseases such as cancer and heart disease, emphasizing the importance of early screening and treatment to improve health outcomes,” said DDAP Secretary Jen Smith. “Behavioral health conditions, such as the disease of addiction, are no different. We encourage employers throughout the commonwealth to incorporate these learning modules into workplace health initiatives.”

The six short learning modules each take "just five" minutes to complete and can be accessed virtually from anywhere at any time with no registration required. The interactive lessons touch on topics including;

  • The Science of Addiction
  • Are You at Risk?
  • The Dangers of Opioids
  • Signs, Symptoms and Treatment
  • How You Can Help
  • The Gift of Recovery

The website is a partnership with national non-profit Shatterproof and contains a pre and posttest to measure a participant’s knowledge on SUD when entering the site and effectiveness of the lessons. Use of the Just Five website is completely confidential and voluntary, and no personal information regarding utilization of the program is shared. The program is also available in English and Spanish and is accessible for individuals with visual and/or hearing impairments.

“Our coworkers and fellow employees are often people that we interact with most,” said Smith. “By improving our understanding of this disease, we can help understand others who may be at risk or provide resources to those who may be struggling.”

A version of Just Five was rolled out to Pennsylvania commonwealth employees during National Prevention week in May 2021. Since the rollout, more than 2,700 individuals have accessed the tool and a number of participants have expressed gratitude that the science-based, informational lessons will assist them in future conversations with family, friends, and coworkers.

“The disease of addiction has far-ranging health and safety impacts for the commonwealth’s workers and their employers,” said L&I Secretary Jennifer Berrier. “It’s absolutely essential for employees struggling with substance use disorder to have easy, confidential access to education and treatment information. Recognizing and treating this disease helps promote productive, healthy, and safe work environments for everyone.”

DDAP’s 2019-2022 State Plan highlights strategic goals for the coming years. One of the four strategic goals is centered around intensifying primary prevention. To do this, DDAP has laid out three objectives; expand evidence-based curricula and resources to school-aged children, encourage availability and awareness of education and support groups for members of our communities, and strengthen family-based prevention and intervention services.

For prevention resources for schools, families, and communities visit


Penny Ickes,


Did you know that there are 29 Intermediate Units across the state of Pennsylvania? Each IU has training and consultation (TAC) staff dedicated to secondary transition. The Transition TAC across the state do AMAZING work at the local level to help local education agencies improve transition practices for students with disabilities. Each month we will feature TAC across the statewide system!


Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (WIU) 7 - Mindy McMahen

Mindy has served as an Educational Consultant in the area of secondary transition at WIU since 2013. Prior to this role she created a transition class for the WIU7 secondary life skills program at a center based school. In each of these roles she have applied what she learned from completing a master's degree in secondary transition from George Washington University.

Contact Info:

Phone: (724)219-2332



IU Transition Resources:;

Follow Mindy on Twitter and Linked In: @mindymcmahen


Central Intermediate Unit (CIU) 10 - Ryan Gill

Ed Consultant @CentralIU10; Husband, Father of 2; Penn Stater; #Skook Native; Advocate for Ind. w/ Disabilities; Striving to MAKE AN IMPACT on a daily basis.

Contact Info:

Phone: (814)422-3194



IU Transition Resource(s):

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @LifeCoachGill


Luzerne Intermediate Unit (LIU) 18 - Cara Devine

For the last 10 years Cara has served as the transition tac for 10 school districts in Luzerne County. Her passion in education is to be able to coach and empower educators to have safe, engaging, and fun classroom environments. Cara loves doing Secondary Transition because we get to see students become contributing members of the workforce and reach their goals.

Currently Cara's hobbies revolve around her almost 10 year old son (Parker), spending most days in an ice hockey rink or hiking in the woods. In the summer they spend most of their days traveling or spending time at our lake house.

Contact Info:

Phone: (570) 239-3504



This newsletter is brought to you by: The Pennsylvania Community on Transition

The Pennsylvania Community on Transition is a group of various stakeholders from across Pennsylvania who work collaboratively to ensure appropriate transition outcomes for Pennsylvania youth and young adults.

The Pennsylvania Community on Transition is a state leadership team consisting of representative from: the State Departments of Education, Health, Labor and Industry, and Human Services; Various Serving Agencies, Young Adults, Parent Organizations, Advocates, Higher Education, and Employers.

The shared vision and common goals of the Pennsylvania Community on Transition is achieved when all PA youth and young adults with disabilities:

  • Successfully transition to the role of productive and participating adult citizens
  • Are empowered to recognize their talents, strengths, and voice
  • Have equal access to resources that will promote their full participation in the communities of their choice.